A lot of hay has been made online about Kate Winslet’s Mare of Easttown accent and if people in the Philadelphia suburbs really say “wooder” for “water” and whether or not she’s saying “creek” correctly. To be honest, I dunno! She sounds pretty not-from-where-I-live to me, so I say “sure, Pennsylvania, that sounds about right!”
Whenever actors attempt accents other than their own, I can never really decide if anyone’s good at it. I mean: as long as they don’t sound like me—100% magnolia-mouthed from way down south—I figure, “Hey, give her a prize.”
Mare of Easttown is (I admit yet another) dead-kid-in-the-woods procedural (whyyyyy are there so maaaaannnnny?), but we’re halfway through it and while I’m not particularly engrossed by the murder mystery part (and I think the series isn’t particularly interested in it either) I am appreciating the complicatedness of Mare herself (she does something truly morally objectionable in the third episode, and you do start to question any sympathy you have toward her—most of which is earned by Winslet herself being majorly likable even when she’s playing a character who is not).
There’s further complication (especially at the beginning) figuring out which kid belongs to who and who’s a mother and who’s a grandmother (I hope you were sitting down for that, but let me repeat: Kate Winslet is now playing a grandmother) and which dude with a beard is an ex-husband and which dude with a beard is a cousin (?) of someone else and wait, there are two priests? It all clears up (one’s a deacon!) but it’s appealingly foggy right from the start.
The series’ pleasures are all in the details and the grace notes: Jean Smart as Mare’s mother, who isn’t afraid to have a cuss-filled shouting match with her daughter, the way everyone in Easttown is connected to everyone else in some way or another, the way the sun’s never out and everything seems slightly damp, the sheer quantity of Rolling Rock that gets consumed.
I think in the end, the whodunnit of the plot will matter less than all of that stuff. It seems like it’s playing out more as a portrait of a place than as a satisfying mystery . . . but maybe not. Either way, I’m cool with it.